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[1] [2]Foodstuffs pegged “Christmas” had better have some red and green in it — as does this recipe for Christmas Horseradish, a pungent mix of thick shreds of fresh horseradish root speckled with bits of hot jalapenos and sweet red pepper.

[3]The ideal Christmas Eve dinner stars a hefty standing rib roast, gloriously rosy-red and juicy in the center cuts, with well-done end-cuts cooked through into rich brown beef falling from the bones in tender strands.

Napping the hearty slices of beef with Christmas Horseradish , especially when folded into rich sour cream, will be a bright spot on your menu.  (Just as our Christmas Soup is a grand overture to the holiday ahead.)

2 jalapeno peppers
1 medium-size sweet red bell pepper
2 8″ fresh horseradish roots
3 c. white vinegar
1/2 t.  salt

[5]For the peppers trim the tops and tips so they’ll make a nice flat rectangle when opened up. (The size of the pieces will vary of course but the process is the same.)

Remove all seeds and trim off the long white ribs. Cut into fine dice, 1/8″, taking care to make all the pieces (green and red) the same size.

Trim the the tops and tails of the horseradish roots. Use a swivel peeler to remove the woody outer skin.

Chop the roots into 3″ lengths and split open the long way.  Trim out any brown centers in the roots — it’s important to only use the snowiest white pieces of the horseradish.

Use the small-size grating disk of a food processor to shred the white horseradish root into fine short strands 1″ long.  If the results look to too course for your taste put the shreds into the processor’s bowl fitted with the chopping blade and pulse, checking every two pulses to break down the shreds, taking care to not overdo it.  Over chopping will rob homemade horseradish of is its old-timey roughness.

Mix the horseradish and pepper dice in a mixing bowl and fill four 8 oz. sterilized canning jars.

Bring 3 c. of white vinegar with the 1/2 t. salt to a full boil. Pour over the horseradish in the jars, leaving 1/4″ head space.

Seal with sterilized lids and bands and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.